Lives of quiet desperation

August 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm 2 comments

I watched the movie Revolutionary Road with a friend of mine who is married but lately having some challenges.  There are many issues on both sides and she realizes that the issues are not all hers, nor his. They will surely be fine as they have weathered much together and despite it all, have never seen two people more committed to each other, even after twenty years of marriage.

This movie packs a wallop when it comes to relationships, marriage, the American Dream, kids, and work.  Yes, it is set in the 50’s, but some of the discussions between April and Frank, the supposed ‘special’ couple everyone refers to, are no less relevant today.  Some of their debates (or fights) were impactful for me in terms of the language used and what they represented to me . For example:

Everything’s going out of focus …

Why do we have to live this delusion – resign from life – have kids …

Why aren’t we living life as if it matters?

It takes a backbone to lead the life you want, Frank

April to Frank: Who made these rules?

Hopeless emptiness of it all …

These are just the phrases that I remember off the top of my head!  I think they resonate with me because they are ones I hear from married friends at one time or another. I know I thought them plenty when I was married.  I never wanted kids and made that clear on my first date with the person who eventually became my husband.  But the world, and eventually he as well, decided that convention (having kids) was what we should be doing. I never agreed.  I too thought “who made these rules” and why must we all subscribe to them? Eventually this became a sore point for me in many ways and I began to sleepwalk through life a bit and definitely stopped living life like it mattered because in some ways, I didn’t think it did anymore.  I don’t blame him for this; I had equal responsibility for this issue.

For me, I felt confined in my marriage.  I believe he did too. I don’t think either of us was in the wrong, nor the right.  I know I wanted to do more, but didn’t.  It was never his fault.  It was mine for allowing myself to be swayed or for choosing comfort out of fear.  You can blame others all you want, but ultimately, the choice is always YOURS. What you end up doing, or not doing, it all comes down to you.

Eventually, I decided that I needed to lead the life I wanted. It takes courage to say that. Even more to do it.  I made some tough choices and I know others didn’t always agree or see them the way I did. But I eventually stopped listening to others in that way and found my own path. I would never have started my own company, gotten my masters degree, moved back to the Midwest, or done a hundred other little things had I not had the courage to start listening and acting upon my choices. To have a happy heart, which is what I have now, makes all the difference in the world to me in how I live and view the world.

I think it is in all of us to do this, even if we are married. It doesn’t take leaving someone to do this.  I think it’s important that you find your path and live it. Now and always.  Don’t lead a life of quiet desperation as Thoreau talks about.  Lead a life of joy, love, peace and harmony.  Yes, that means you will have disagreements and challenges along the way, but in the end, when you look back, it will be with a happy heart. That to me makes all the difference in life.


Entry filed under: Miscellania, movies, Relationships, thoughts, Who is?. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

How do you spend your day? Do you have a voice?

2 Comments Add your own

  • […] Economics teacher and his mind-numbing cadence. Bueller… Bueller… Bueller… Read more! » Lives of quiet desperation – 08/09/2009 I watched the movie Revolutionary Road with a friend […]

  • 2. Fossil  |  August 29, 2009 at 9:46 am

    […] Economics teacher and his mind-numbing cadence. Bueller… Bueller… Bueller… Read more! » Lives of quiet desperation – 08/09/2009 I watched the movie Revolutionary Road with a friend […];. All the best!!


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